AISC


Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center Wins Design Award

September 1, 2016

(Chicago, IL) – The Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center in Little Rock, Ark., has earned national recognition in the 2016 Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel awards program (IDEAS2). In honor of this achievement, members of the project team will be presented with awards from the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) during a ceremony to take place at the building on Wednesday, September 7, at 4 p.m.

“With a community-driven mission, the library showcases steel in its purest form and use in a whimsical but purposeful manner,” commented Wanda Lau, senior editor of technology, products and practice for Architect and Architectural Lighting magazines, and the trade media juror in the competition.

The new facility is based on experiential learning, where children are educated through hands-on activities that teach important life skills. Referred to as a “community-embedded, supportive learning center,” the library offers not only books, but also a performance space, a teaching kitchen, a greenhouse, a vegetable garden and an arboretum. The challenge from the library’s director was to create a playground without equipment, where nature and imagination combine to create grand adventures on a six-acre site in the heart of Arkansas’ capital city.

The architecture speaks to the technical nature of construction, expressing all connections and systems. The steel structure’s honest expression and craft of its detailing allowed every column, beam, bolt and connection to be exposed in functional fashion. The great reading room’s roof lifts to the north in response to the idea of “lifting expectations,” and the entire library becomes loft-like, with treehouse study rooms cantilevered and floating in balance over educational spaces below.

The project was entered in the competition by its architect, Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects, Little Rock, Ark. The other members of the project team include:

  • Owner: Central Arkansas Library System, Little Rock, Ark.
  • Structural Engineer: Engineering Consultants, Inc., Little Rock, Ark.
  • General Contractor: East Harding Construction, Little Rock, Ark.

The 10 IDEAS2 winners for 2016 were chosen from nearly 100 submissions received from architectural and engineering and other project team member firms throughout the U.S. Each submission is reviewed and award winners are selected by a nationally recognized panel of design and construction industry professionals.

The IDEAS2 award dates back more than 50 years with AISC. And about this year’s winning library and learning center, Roger E. Ferch, P.E., president of AISC, said, “The entire library and learning center project team has shown how structural steel can be used to create structures that combine beauty and practicality. The result is a structure that will serve its users extremely well, while providing an example of what can be achieved when designing and constructing projects with steel.”

Members of the media may request high-resolution images of the project by contacting AISC’s Tasha Weiss at 312.670.5439 or weiss@aisc.org. For more information about the IDEAS2 awards and to view all of this year’s winners, please visit www.aisc.org/ideas2.

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For more information contact:

Tasha O'Berski
Communications Department
312.670.5439
oberski@aisc.org

American Institute of Steel Construction

The American Institute of Steel Construction, headquartered in Chicago, is a non-partisan, not-for-profit technical institute and trade association established in 1921 to serve the structural steel design community and construction industry. AISC’s mission is to make structural steel the material of choice by being the leader in structural steel-related technical and market-building activities, including: specification and code development, research, education, technical assistance, quality certification, standardization, and market development. AISC has a long tradition of service to the steel construction industry of providing timely and reliable information. 

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